What does it say of the concept revolutionary that it most often appears as a predicate nominative?
I am a … some other person is …
For one, that it is an idea very close to our identity. Who is this we, and whence comes our our? I will save that for another day.
Today I rebel. A Southern White Male, rebelling from work. A Friday Microrevolution, spent cutting the grass, catching up on laundry, and blogging. What does it say of me and us that it is revolutionary to take a day off work so that I can enjoy working? A different sort of work.
My mind, trained to be analytic and efficient, instinctively views the concept as a node in a conceptual schema in order to understand “what it means.” To see the perspectives from which I, with my ‘revolutionary’ identity, might understand this phenomenon. Not all perspectives are worth entertaining equally. The two that present themselves*most forcefully are that society is oppressing me and that I am a slave and that I truly am a rebel. But when I look across the railroad tracks, about half of those men don’t work at all. They are the real rebels. I work to pay taxes and they do this all day. Except they have a different audience. I write to myself and other bloggers who only read their own stuff. The folks across the tracks talk to one another. They wander around like the cats of Alapaha. They don’t even see the boundaries that direct those of us more properly disciplined.
Part of me would like to believe that I am rational, and that this action is supremely rational – weighing the costs and benefits of working versus doing this – and that I have made the rational decision – and that I am so fucking clever. Another part of me crushes that sissy and disdains reason and values will. I wanted to stay home, so I that’s what I did. I am no slave – not even a calculating, middle class one.
*Here I treat myself to an absurd delicacy. Heidegger’s mystical stupidity is so decadent that it is fun – the sort of fun had by slaves – and it tastes like skipping work to blog about skipping work.